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1990 Brazilian Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1990 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race 2 of 16 in the 1990 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Interlagos.svg
Race details
Date 25 March 1990
Official name XIX Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location Autódromo José Carlos Pace
São Paulo, Brazil
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.325 km (2.687 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 307.075 km (190.808 mi)
Weather Hot, dry, sunny
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Honda
Time 1:17.277
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda
Time 1:19.899 on lap 55
First Ferrari
Second McLaren-Honda
Third McLaren-Honda

The 1990 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Interlagos, São Paulo on 25 March 1990. It was the second race of the 1990 Formula One World Championship. It was also the first Brazilian Grand Prix to be held at Interlagos since 1980, following the renovation and shortening of the circuit and the ascendancy of São Paulo driver Ayrton Senna.

The 71-lap race was won by Alain Prost, driving a Ferrari. Senna took pole position in his McLaren-Honda and led until he collided with Satoru Nakajima in the Tyrrell-Ford, allowing Prost through. Prost took his 40th Grand Prix victory, and his sixth and final Brazilian win, with Senna's teammate Gerhard Berger second and Senna himself recovering to third.


The rebuilt Interlagos circuit, which hosted the race for the first time since 1980, had been dramatically altered. The track had been shortened by 3.5 km and lost many fast sweepers and the Retao straight, which had allowed Formula One drivers to use full throttle for 20 seconds.


Pre-qualifying report

In the Friday morning pre-qualifying session, the Larrousse-Lola cars secured a 1–2, with Éric Bernard a couple of tenths of a second faster than his team-mate Aguri Suzuki. Five thousandths of a second behind Suzuki in third was Olivier Grouillard in the Osella. The other pre-qualifier was Yannick Dalmas in his AGS, the first time the Frenchman had progressed to the main qualifying sessions this season. Dalmas edged out his team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, who was fifth, the fastest runner to drop out at this stage.

Roberto Moreno also missed out in sixth in an eventful session. His EuroBrun suffered an ignition problem just 200 metres after leaving the pitlane and the team decided to let Moreno use the car of his team-mate Claudio Langes, who at that stage had the sixth best time. Moreno promised Langes he would return the car for the last 10 minutes of the session. Moreno managed a fast lap that placed him at the top of the pre-qualifying table at that point, with a time of 1:25.763. But as he attempted a second fast lap straight afterwards, the car stopped on the track, because the team had miscalculated the fuel quantity needed for two fast laps and the EuroBrun ran out of fuel. Moreno's hope of progressing to qualifying proper ended as the track dried up, and in the final minutes of the session he was bumped down to sixth place. Langes never got back the car, and was thirteen seconds adrift of Moreno's time in eighth place.[1]

Bertrand Gachot struggled badly again in the Coloni, faster than Langes but still ten seconds off Bernard's pace in seventh. The Coloni's Subaru 1235 engine, built by Motori Moderni, was proving to be overweight, underpowered and fragile.[2] Bottom of the time sheets was Gary Brabham in the Life, failing to post a time at all. The car's engine broke a connecting rod after a quarter of a lap, leaving Brabham and his manager to question the Australian's future at the team.[3] Brabham later stated that he had been uncertain his team would even be present at Interlagos, until he saw the car in the pit garage.[4]

Pre-qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini 1:23.763
2 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini 1:23.982 +0.219
3 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:23.987 +0.224
4 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:24.015 +0.252
5 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford 1:24.265 +0.502
6 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd 1:25.763 +2.000
7 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru 1:34.046 +10.283
8 34 Italy Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd 1:39.188 +15.425
9 39 Australia Gary Brabham Life no time

Qualifying report

Local hero Ayrton Senna took his 43rd career pole position and led from the start. Gianni Morbidelli made it through qualifying for the first time in his Formula One career.

Qualifying classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 1:17.769 1:17.277
2 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 1:17.888 1:18.504 +0.611
3 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 1:18.375 1:18.150 +0.873
4 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 1:18.465 1:18.288 +1.011
5 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 1:18.509 1:19.475 +1.232
6 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 1:18.631 1:18.884 +1.354
7 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.230 1:18.923 +1.646
8 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:19.039 1:19.688 +1.762
9 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 1:19.125 1:19.964 +1.848
10 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford 1:19.309 +2.032
11 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini 1:19.406 1:21.024 +2.129
12 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 1:19.425 1:20.126 +2.148
13 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 1:19.629 1:20.317 +2.352
14 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini 1:20.032 +2.755
15 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 1:20.055 1:20.317 +2.778
16 21 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Dallara-Ford 1:20.164 1:20.229 +2.887
17 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford 1:20.282 1:21.121 +3.005
18 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini 1:20.557 1:21.086 +3.280
19 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 1:20.568 1:21.086 +3.291
20 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 1:20.650 1:20.794 +3.373
21 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 1:21.292 1:20.884 +3.607
22 7 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Brabham-Judd 1:20.965 1:20.902 +3.625
23 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 1:20.920 1:21.002 +3.643
24 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 1:21.244 1:20.998 +3.721
25 10 Italy Alex Caffi Arrows-Ford 1:21.065 1:22.057 +3.788
26 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 1:22.426 1:21.087 +3.810
27 35 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford 1:21.241 1:22.184 +3.964
28 36 Finland JJ Lehto Onyx-Ford 1:21.323 1:21.417 +4.046
29 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd 1:21.383 1:21.422 +4.106
30 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd 1:21.616 1:22.862 +4.339


Race report

After qualifying, Williams driver Thierry Boutsen, himself third on the grid, predicted that the Ferraris on the third row of the grid would be the cars to beat, citing their semi-automatic transmission and its paddle shift which allowed both Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell to keep their hands on the wheel around the bumpy turns at the back of the circuit

At the first corner, Jean Alesi, Alessandro Nannini and Andrea de Cesaris tangled, eliminating de Cesaris and requiring the Benetton driver to stop for a new nosecone. On lap eight Boutsen passed Berger for second place, and Prost took the V12 Ferrari past the McLaren driver on lap 17. Mansell pitted on lap 27 for new tyres and also to inspect a broken rollbar, rejoining in 9th place. Boutsen's pit stop on lap 30 went disastrously wrong. With failing brakes, and a tricky bump in the pitlane, the Williams was unable to stop and crashed into some of his mechanics and the wheel and tyre equipment stacked outside the garage. This required a new nosecone and when he rejoined, he was down in 11th position.

Prost was piling on the pressure, and by lap 35 he had climbed to second within 10 seconds of Senna, and was now ahead of Riccardo Patrese, Berger and Nelson Piquet. When Senna came up to lap former Lotus teammate Satoru Nakajima, there was contact and the McLaren had to pit for a new nosecone. He rejoined and challenged hard, but the reduced downforce levels made the car difficult to drive. On lap 66, Patrese retired with a broken oil cooler.

Prost took his 40th victory, and his first for Ferrari, from Berger and the recovering Senna. Mansell finished an excellent fourth, having driven through the field with a broken rollbar. Boutsen finished a creditable fifth and Piquet claimed the final point in front of his home crowd after passing Alesi – who was suffering severe tyre wear after attempting to run non-stop on his Pirellis – on the last lap.

Race classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 France Alain Prost Ferrari 71 1:37:21.258 6 9
2 28 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda 71 +13.564 2 6
3 27 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda 71 +37.722 1 4
4 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ferrari 71 +47.266 5 3
5 5 Belgium Thierry Boutsen Williams-Renault 70 +1 lap 3 2
6 20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford 70 +1 lap 13 1
7 4 France Jean Alesi Tyrrell-Ford 70 +1 lap 7
8 3 Japan Satoru Nakajima Tyrrell-Ford 70 +1 lap 19
9 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 69 +2 laps 8
10 19 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford 68 Puncture 15
11 25 Italy Nicola Larini Ligier-Ford 68 +3 laps 20
12 26 France Philippe Alliot Ligier-Ford 68 +3 laps 10
13 6 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault 65 Oil pressure 4
14 21 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Dallara-Ford 64 +7 laps 16
Ret 10 Italy Alex Caffi Arrows-Ford 49 Clutch 25
Ret 12 United Kingdom Martin Donnelly Lotus-Lamborghini 43 Spun off 14
Ret 8 Italy Stefano Modena Brabham-Judd 39 Spun off 12
Ret 24 Italy Paolo Barilla Minardi-Ford 38 Engine 17
Ret 18 France Yannick Dalmas AGS-Ford 28 Suspension 26
Ret 11 United Kingdom Derek Warwick Lotus-Lamborghini 25 Electrical 24
Ret 30 Japan Aguri Suzuki Lola-Lamborghini 24 Suspension 18
Ret 9 Italy Michele Alboreto Arrows-Ford 24 Suspension 23
Ret 7 Switzerland Gregor Foitek Brabham-Judd 14 Transmission 22
Ret 29 France Éric Bernard Lola-Lamborghini 13 Gearbox 11
Ret 14 France Olivier Grouillard Osella-Ford 8 Collision 21
Ret 22 Italy Andrea de Cesaris Dallara-Ford 0 Collision 9
DNQ 35 Sweden Stefan Johansson Onyx-Ford
DNQ 36 Finland JJ Lehto Onyx-Ford
DNQ 16 Italy Ivan Capelli Leyton House-Judd
DNQ 15 Brazil Maurício Gugelmin Leyton House-Judd
DNPQ 17 Italy Gabriele Tarquini AGS-Ford
DNPQ 33 Brazil Roberto Moreno EuroBrun-Judd
DNPQ 31 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Coloni-Subaru
DNPQ 34 Italy Claudio Langes EuroBrun-Judd
DNPQ 39 Australia Gary Brabham Life

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "Jornal do Brasil". 24 March 1990.
  2. ^ Walker, Murray (1990). Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year. Hazleton Publishing. p. 23–30. ISBN 0 905138 82 1.
  3. ^ "Motoring News". 26 March 1990.
  4. ^ "Motoring News". 11 April 1990.
  5. ^ "1990 Brazilian Grand Prix". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Brazil 1990 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 13 March 2019.

Previous race:
1990 United States Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1990 season
Next race:
1990 San Marino Grand Prix
Previous race:
1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Brazilian Grand Prix Next race:
1991 Brazilian Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 2 September 2020, at 20:11
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